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Beef, Turkey, or Vegetarian Empanadas (Flaky Meat Pies)

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Beef, Turkey, or Vegetarian Empanadas (Flaky Meat Pies)

Jessica Braider
Empanadas are an Argentinean specialty, reminiscent of Italian calzones or Australian meat pies. Using a prepared pie crust, rather than making and rolling your own dough, makes them easy enough for a weeknight dinner. If you want to try making your own dough, here’s a recipe from Laylita's Recipes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 ready-made refrigerated pie crusts (the kind you unroll, such as Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts)
  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or meatless crumbles
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins or 1/4 cup pine nuts


  • Unroll and cut each of the pie crusts into 4 even quarters and allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large heavy skillet, brown the meat and onions over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the salt, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, vinegar, and raisins or pine nuts, and simmer it for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
  • Put each section of the crusts on the baking sheet, fold it gently in half to find the middle seam, and put a small scoop of the meat mixture along the seam. Fold it over and seal the edges with the tines of a fork to make a pocket.
  • Bake the empanadas for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the empanadas to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Place all filling ingredients in the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Turn the slow cooker off and remove the lid approximately 1/2 hour before assembling the empanadas to give the filling time to cool, or refrigerate the filling if you will not be making the empanadas right away. Assemble and bake the empanadas as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion, combine the dry seasonings, make the filling.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic powder and cumin and use both raisins and pine nuts.
Tip: If you find that you have any holes or openings in the dough when you pull it over the meat mixture, gently pinch a little of the dough off one of the edges and use it to patch the hole.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 370, Total Fat: 22g, 34%; Saturated Fat: 7g, 35%; Cholesterol: 40mg, 13%; Sodium: 550mg, 23%; Total Carbohydrate: 30g, 10%; Dietary Fiber: 1g, 4%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 14g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Sandwiches/Wraps, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
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